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Articles of Interest

Here are several recent articles of interest.

Steven Erickson and Michael Vitacco have this article on SSRN entitled Predators and Punishment on psychopathy as an excuse.  Here is the abstract:

Psychopathy is characterized as an emotional disorder tightly woven with persistent antisocial behavior. Prevailing legal doctrine and social norms hold psychopaths responsible for their conduct and punishment legitimately flows to psychopaths who violate the law. Recent scholarship, however, has challenged that view by claiming the emotional and cognitive deficits inherent in psychopathy should preclude culpability for some psychopaths. This view necessarily imposes a substantial modification on how the law conceptualizes culpability that is ultimately unwise. Legal responsibility entails the capacity for rationality and psychopaths comport with the established meanings of rationality as understood by the law and the communal intuitions which guide it. Extant scholarship indicates psychopaths are rationale agents and can be fairly subjected to punishment for conduct which violates the law. The law should reject efforts to include psychopaths within its excuse jurisprudence.

In the current issue of Engage are two criminal law articles:
From the former:

The Guidelines are a lost cause. When they became optional after Booker, the Sentencing Commission lost the central purpose for which Congress established it. Yet each year it spends more money making suggestions district courts now follow only little more than half the time. It's time for the Commission to go, and for Congress to re-write the Sentencing Reform Act.

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